And then...the high-pitched little voice that brings anyone back to Earth, because...well, you can't effectively clean up spilled macaroni and cheese from all the way up there in La La Land...
"It's very important, Mommy...
'Kittethn'... How do you spell 'kittethn'?"
The tiny lisp (that isn't quite a lisp) is uniquely Britton's; it lilts lyrically throughout her sentences as if it almost doesn't exist, and yet its presence has always somewhat concerned me, a mother with a keen ear for linguistic accuracy and appreciation for all things grammatical, syntactical, etc... I always was an English geek, and proud of it. My daughter, only three years of age, already uses her adverbs in their proper tense, correcting the boys at school when they're being too "loud"... Oh no, they're definitely "speaking too loudly." I love it. Never too early. If she learns it this way the first time around and manages to retain these principles throughout her years of public education without picking up too many bad habits, we'll be all set.
About that lisp? It only makes its appearance, so to speak, in a few "s" words here and there, and sometimes in the nasal "n" beginnings and endings when that sound is soft; it's like she's trying harder than is necessary to force out the air needed to make that sound. So what does a Mommy do? Well, off we go to the pediatrician, of course. No, no, not right away, of course. Growing kids will go through these things, and it's normal. (Not that I'm not prone to overreacting a tad; I *was* the first to toss everything in the car and rush off to the ER the first time she rolled off the bed as an infant, only to be told by a very sweet and serene nurse that ALL babies roll off the bed at some point...it's kind of what they do.) However, now that this nose issue has obviously affected her speech to a noticeable degree, it seemed the appropriate time to investigate further.
After a quick glance up her tiny nostrils and down her little throat, we're given a prescription for an inhaled steroid (Veramyst) and a liquid allergy medicine to clear up her congestion (which very well could be the reason she overcompensates with the "n" sounds). We've yet to see what the long-term use of these will do for her, but I'm optimistic, and Britton is just happy that the allergy medicine tastes of cherries. We'll see how we go. In the meantime, life goes on as chaotically and as normally and as beautifully as ever. As she approached me in the dining room the other night with a sheet of notebook paper in her hands, pride beaming in her face like sunshine was made for her, I had to smile again at what she had called so very important: scrawled in her favorite purple crayon were the carefully crafted letters K-I-T-T-E-N, perfectly printed across the top.
That's my girl.